We recently took a look at the best defensive end the Rams franchise has ever drafted. There were a ton of great options, but ultimately Deacon Jones earned that honor.
The winner of my meaningless “best defensive tackle ever drafted by the Rams” award was an even easier choice than Jones. Like Jones, this player also played on the Rams’ famed “Fearsome Foursome” defensive line back in the 1960s.
That player is Merlin Olsen, who was drafted third overall by the Rams in 1962. As you can see here, Olsen didn’t have a whole lot of competition for this distinction, but even if he did, Olsen still would likely win this award.
Like Jones, Olsen played in an era before sacks were officially kept as a statistic, so unfortunately we’ll never truly know how many sacks he racked up. What we do know is that Olsen played all 15 of his NFL seasons with St. Louis, which included 208 games. He made the Pro Bowl every single season except his final season in 1976 and also earned first-team All-Pro honors every year between 1966-1970.
Olsen, who passed away in 2010, was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1982.